Vandalism Costs Taxpayer Dollars
Written by Andrew-Rossi on October 24, 2017
Vandalism is costly, as the Wyoming Department of Transportation is pointing out to residents with a new project – repairing and replacing roadway signs that have been stolen, painted, or shot with firearms.
WYDOT is in the process of repairing and replacing over 500 road signs statewide – and almost 300 of these signs are in Park and Big Horn Counties.
WYDOT area traffic supervisor Steven Otto of Basin says about 400 of the signs around the state are being replaced due to sign failure due to fading, age, and therefore, loss of reflectivity, and peeling numbers or letters. However, 25 percent of the total signs being upgraded are being replaced due to external variables, including being damaged, shot, stolen or vandalized.
Otto says that the replacement cost just for the signs that have been vandalized will cost taxpayers almost $16,000. Ninety-seven of the 148 damaged signs were shot by some sort of firearm. Also, of note, this year’s shot signs were only being planned for replacement if they had two or more bullet holes.
The vandalism statistics are alarming and are leading to increased law enforcement, according to Capt. Steven Sanders of the Wyoming Highway Patrol. He says the potential chance for significant injury or death resulting from someone shooting a sign, and therefore, shooting along a public road, is something the public should find unacceptable.